Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Word and Question 14 -- Host's Poem!

Family Resemblance

I look like my mother, I'm startled to say.
I'm taller, and different in most every way.
But at times when I pass by the mirror I see
Her there for a minute, but really, it's me.

When I was a teen I was frequently told
I resembled my Grandma, except not so old.
Great aunts would remark that when wearing "that dress"
I was her spitting image. I could be, I guess.....
When I look at that snapshot of Grandma and me --
The one in the yard, by the juniper tree --
I have to admit the resemblance is there,
Except for the color and length of our hair.

Last week I was visiting in my home state,
Met up with my aunt, and I'm shocked to relate
That she told me I'm like Granny was at this age;
My other grandmother! Which just sets the stage
For debating who's right. (Can we really all be???)
Am I Granny, or Grandma, or Mom, or just me?

Word: juniper
Question: Who is the person you're most like who you wish you weren't like?

First of all, I am in shock that even with a trip and the subsequent catching up at home, I managed to write this by the deadline. I think I pulled it off because this is truly autobiographical, right down to the juniper in the yard when I was growing up. (Although I had to make it a tree for the rhyme, when it was definitely a bush!) I'm leaving you readers to figure out the answer to the question, and I hope if you do you'll tell me.

I will try to update this post to add links as the other participants post them in the comments (What a brilliant idea, Enbretheliel!) I'm really looking forward to seeing what some people did with the prompts I sent. ;-D Happy writing!

Updated 4: Dylan's poem is in (with a bonus.) And now Enbrethiliel. Laurie has chimed in! (There's one more to come,
and you know who you are.... This will become a link as of August first... ;-D) The link is now live, so go nudge him!!


Jake said...


dylan said...

Oh, Ellen, that's darned good! Very good, indeed. I like the rhythm, the rhyme, and most of all the concept! As for changing a bush into a tree, don't fret about the apparent deviation from How It Really Was. A famous American poet (Donald Hall) has said, "Lie for the sake of assonance!" Poetic truth often has little to do with autobiographical exactitude! But here you've given us a marvelous poem, faithful to real life, and of an infectious cadence!

Mine is a bit sillier. Here it is. (Also, you'll note that as a postscript I include a rhyme contributed by a friend of mine, who was intrigued by the idea of this game we play each month! Her rhyme is brief, and somewhat macabre.)

Enbrethiliel said...



Ellen, how do you write these???

And how lucky were your word and question pairing this time? I would have guessed that you wrote about a juniper tree only because it was a required prompt, but now you say it's as autobiographical as the rest of the details here. Amazing!

I just love the way you end this poem. But really, the whole thing just flows so naturally. I really wish I could do this.

And now here is mine, which I was so proud of ten minutes ago: W&Q 14.

Salome Ellen said...

Dylan, thank you. It's nice to know I have a little something in common with an actual poet!

Enbrethiliel, honestly, I don't exactly KNOW how I write them. Once I have an idea of where the poem is going, I just sit down with a notebook and pen, and the words flow. (But not like they did for Charlotte Bronte, who rarely crossed out anything. My paper is all scribbles and carets and arrows to where I wrote the other version.) And actually, I still feel like an impostor at this game. You guys are the "real" poets, and I'm just a "rhymester." I guess the grass is always greener...

Laurie said...

Ha! Wonderful! I agree with Dylan re: cadence, and add exhuberance and humor to the list.
My efforts, sadly imperfect despite repeated tries, are posted at
Thanks again for hosting, and I'm glad to have found a kindred spirit through Word & Question.